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3 Tips for Dove Season

Dove hunting season is just around the corner. Here are three tips for the season ahead!

Get out there early!

Hunting doves in Colorado is an early season sport. Although Colorado’s dove season opens Sept. 1 and continues into November, the window of opportunity for hunters is small. Since mourning doves migrate, most of them leave the state after the first cold snap, which can happen as early as August some years.

For the best chance of success, you should hit the fields in the first days and weeks after the season opens.


Choosing the right choke for your shotgun is key for shooting accurately in the field. One option that works well for dove hunting is an improved cylinder and modified choke combination for a 12-gauge over/under. For the first shot, use the barrel with the improved cylinder. If needed, follow-up with a second shot using the more restrictive, modified choke. The tighter pattern of the modified choke is better at taking doves at longer distances.

Some hunters prefer a full choke on the second barrel, but it can be overkill for doves.

Lead the Bird!

Shooting behind birds is a mistake that many beginner hunters make. Doves are strong fliers, capable of reaching speeds of more than 55 MPH, and they can fly even faster with tailwinds. How much you lead will depend on how fast the bird is moving and the distance of your shot.

Additionally, it’s important to swing the shotgun barrel past the bird and keep your lead AFTER you’ve pulled the trigger. This is called “following through” on the shot.

For more information about Colorado's Dove hunting season. See the link below.

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